29 April 2004
White House Report, April 29: 9/11 Commission
Bush, Cheney meet with September 11 Commission
President Bush and Vice President Cheney met with members of the
September 11 Commission April 29 for three hours in the White House
According to White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, all
ten members of the commission were present as well as one commission
staff member. White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales was also present
with two White House staff members.
Asked why the two White House staff members were present the press
secretary said, "The White House staff members are from the
counsel's office and have been very involved in working with the
September 11 Commission. They will be there to take notes on the
The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States
-- also known as the September 11 Commission -- has been conducting
hearings into the events surrounding the terrorist attacks of September
"This is a private meeting to discuss important matters and
the discussion from this meeting will be reflected in the commission's
final report," McClellan said.
When asked about President Bush's preparation for the meeting,
McClellan said, "The president met with Chief of Staff Andrew
Card, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, and White House
Counsel Al Gonzales to look over documents that the White House
had provided the commission."
Following the meeting with the commission, President Bush spoke
"This is an important commission, and it's important that
they ask the questions they ask so that they can help make recommendations
necessary to better protect our homeland," Bush said.
Asked if he was advised by the White House counsel not to answer
some of the commission's questions, Bush said, "I was never
advised by my counsel not to answer anything. I answered every
question they asked."
The president said that he looked forward to seeing the commission's
recommendations in its final report to see if there are additional
steps that can be taken to win the war on terrorism.
Asked if the U.S. was still vulnerable to al-Qaeda, Bush said, "We
are still vulnerable to attack. The best way to secure America,
however, is to stay on the offensive and bring those people to
justice before they harm America again."
The September 11 Commission released a statement following the
meeting saying, "The Commission found the president and vice-president
forthcoming and candid. The information they provided will be of
great assistance to the commission as it completes its final report."